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'I think we got lucky': Ripon cleans up after major storm damage

The Fond du Lac County Sheriff's Office says the dispatch center received dozens of calls for service Tuesday night
Posted at 5:43 PM, May 22, 2024

FOND DU LAC (NBC 26) — Neighbors in Ripon are still cleaning up after severe storms on Tuesday night knocked down trees and power lines.

  • The Fond du Lac County Sheriff's office says dispatch received about 50 weather-related calls for service.
  • Ripon residents are cleaning up yards and streets and removing fallen trees.

Laura Olson is one of those neighbors cleaning up. She lives on the west side of the city, and a storm knocked down a tree in her backyard Tuesday night. That tree then toppled a power line.
"We got down to the basement and then we heard this tree fall, but the house didn't really shake or anything, so we knew it didn't hit the house," Olson said. "It was really loud."

Her street was closed Wednesday because of the downed line, but she said she's grateful her house was spared.

"We're delighted that we missed, or dodged, the bullet here," Olson said.

Barb Seidel, who lives a couple blocks away, wasn't as lucky. A tree fell next to her house and just barely hit the side of the building.

"I went to my son's house because I'm deathly afraid of storms, and I got several phone calls and was told that my trees were down," Seidel said.

Seidel said she doesn't yet know how much damage there is.

"I think there's probably roof damage and side damage to the building itself," Seidel said.

But Seidel and Olson weren't the only neighbors who saw damage. The Fond du Lac County Sheriff's office said between 8:25 and 11:57, the county dispatch center received 102 calls for service. That's about one every two minutes. The sheriff's office said about half of those calls were storm-related and many from the west side of the county, which includes Ripon and Waupun.

Some neighbors said they're glad the damage wasn't worse.

"It wasn't, wasn't too bad," Ripon resident Dave Gallops said. "I think we got lucky."

Wisconsin Public Service now said power that lost is back on across Fond du Lac County after outages Tuesday.